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Clashes in Tehran

By Rosslyn Hyams

Clashes are reported in Tehran after hundreds of anti-riot police swooped on the Iranian capital's currency exchange district, Ferdowsi, and arrested illegal money changers. They also ordered licensed exchange bureaux and other shops to close. A protest in Tehran's historic Grand Bazaar also took place but was quickly put down by police, according to local people. The incidents come amid a dramatic plunge in the value of Iran's currency, the rial, this week and raging inflation. President Mahmoud Amedinejad has blamed Western sanctions imposed in abid to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions. Anoush Ehteshami, an Iranian academic in the UK, comments on Iran's money problems.

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